A Dictionary of Arts: Blue Dyes.

A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines; containing A Clear Exposition of Their Principles and Practice

by Andrew Ure, M. D.;
F. R. S. M. G. S. Lond.: M. Acad. M. S. Philad.; S. PH. DOC. N. GERM. Ranow.; Mulh. Etc. Etc.

Illustrated with nearly fifteen hundred engravings on wood
Eleventh American, From The Last London Edition.
To which is appended, a Supplement of Recent Improvements to The Present Time.

New York: D Appleton & company, 200 Broadway. Philadelphia: George S. Appleton, 148 Chestnut St.


BLUE DYES. (Teint, Germ. See Enamel.) The materials employed for this purpose are indigo, Prussian blue, logwood, bilberry, (vaccinium myrtillus,) elder berries, (sambucus nigra,) mulberries, privet berries, (ligustrum vulgare,) and some other berries whose juice becomes blue by the addition of a small portion of alkali, or of the salts of copper. For dyeing with the first three articles, see them in their alphabetical places. I shall here describe the other or minor blue dyes.

To dye blue with such berries as the above, we boil one pound of them in water, adding one ounce of alum, of copperas, and of blue vitriol, to the decoction, or in their stead equal parts of verdigris and tartar, and pass the stuffs a sufficient time through the liquor. When an iron mordant alone is employed, a steel blue tint is obtained; and when a tin one, a blue with a violet cast. The privet berries which have been employed as sap colors by the card painters, may be extensively used in the dyeing of silk. The berries of the African night-shade (solanum guineense) have been of late years considerably applied to silk on the continent in producing various shades of blue, violet, red, brown, &c., but particularly violet. With alkalis and acids these berries have the same habitudes as bilberries; the former turning them green, the latter red. They usually come from Italy compressed in a dry cake, and are infused in hot water. The infusion is merely filtered, and then employed without any mordant, for dyeing silk, being kept at a warm temperature by surrounding the bath vessed with hot water. The goods must be winced for six hours through it in order to be saturated with color; then they are to be rinsed in running water and dried. One pound of silk requires a pound and a half of the berry, cake. In the residuary bath, other tints of blue may be given. Sometimes the dyed silk is finished by running it through a weak alum water. A color approaching to indigo in permanence, but which differs from it in being soluble in alkalis, though incapable of similar disoxydizement, is the gardenia genipa and aculeata of South America, whose colorless juice becomes dark blue with contact of air; and dyes stuffs, the skin, and nails, or unchangeable deep blue color, but the juice must be applied in the colorless state.

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